(ID:279) re-use of waste streams, on closing resource cycles...infrastructure and (urban)farming.

MWH Global
wet infrastructure, planning, design, construction and management services projects.

AddressPoortweg 4, 2600 AG, Delft, Nederland
URLhttp://www.mwhglobal.com/
ContactSanne van Empel, Consultant, sanne.vanempel@mwhglobal.com
Line of industryConsulting and Design services; Research
Area of expertiseDesign; Sustainability; Power generation and conversion; Transport, WATER - WASTE - ENERGY
Sizemore than 1000 employees

Role of company/organisation

Deerns, LeAF and MWH form a strong team with specialized knowledge and experience on energy, water and waste-cycles throughout the urban context of real estate, infrastructure and (urban)farming. We form a platform with an open structure that seeks interaction with local knowledge and innovation-partners (e.g. TUE, startups, design academy, Wageningen University). This platform can work directly for the municipality, form an energy corporation or support design & build. We can develop a high level overall master plan to ensure a consistent approach throughout the different buildings and implementation phases and the delivery of sustained progress in the performance on sustainability indicators. This ‘resource-cycle master plan’ will ensure that building renovation, infrastructure developments and other activities are all in unison, enabling and reinforcing each other’s sustainability.

Opportunities for collaboration

To reach the set goals, we will establish the Urban Tricycle Platform Eindhoven. Together with the city of Eindhoven, the founding partners LeAF, Deerns, MWH and Wageningen University will initiate the Platform, which will be opened for other knowledge institutes and companies. This platform integrates knowledge and expertise of the different sectors/worlds, like water, built environment, energy, food, waste and GHG emissions. Especially with local companies and institutes like the TU Eindhoven and the Design Academy creative interaction and cooperation is actively sought: from this we expect the unexpected surprising solutions for the challenges ahead.

Description of idea

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Modern urban context require a strong focus on re-use of waste streams, on closing resource cycles. This requires an integrated approach towards energy, water and waste streams. When we integrate todays technologies underlying energy, waste and water streams remarkably strong tri-cycles and synergies can be created. Combined with the innovations that are currently emerging, like smart grid developments, resource usage in the city of Eindhoven can be reduced dramatically. We have looked at the potential of developing one integrated approach towards energy, water and waste streams, where we have explicitly placed the real estate of the municipality in their urban context. This allows for innovations in recycling waste, water and energy streams, also through the delivery of these streams towards other functions in the city. An important supporting factor in this approach is a paradigm shift in the use of urban infrastructure; this integrated approach allowed for the multi-functional use of existing infrastructure, delivering new synergies that create high value. The result is not only unparalleled sustainability, but in combination with a low cost and future proof infrastructure, sustained innovation is enabled, delivering a truly ‘smart city’ and real value for the society. The result is the Urban Tricycle. In the Urban Tricycle Eindhoven, waste does no longer exist, only resources. Furthermore, material and energy cycles interact through innovative hardware, creating synergy that benefits all. The water consumption in buildings/area is no more than 5 % from current levels, which facilitates the extraction of raw materials from the concentrated flows. Energy and raw materials such as phosphate are recovered with efficiencies of more than 80%. Furthermore, food spoilage is reduced by 50%. With innovative infrastructure resource streams are collected, transported and upgraded. These “urban mined” resources are used locally for the production of high quality bio-based products that find their way into the circular economy. Regained nutrients therefore do not contribute to the (current) nutrient surplus in the region. Synergy is created by the metabolism of the building and the area by merging diverse functions, such as the water and fertilizer supply of natural greenery in and around the buildings. There is excellent synergy with the energy management and other material flows in the area. For example, algae are grown on urine (as fertilizer), CO2 from the office premises and LED light. Vacant office buildings are converted with flexible systems into office greenhouses for plant and algae cultivation. With plants, electricity is generated. All this makes the Urban Tricycle Eindhoven unique in the world and its impact extends far beyond its city limits. Local companies and the citizens of Eindhoven will strongly benefit from the financial, environmental, technical, and social innovations that create value and bring new jobs. The innovation path to the future is still partly hidden behind the horizon. But on its visible part concrete steps can be made today to make a break with the wasteful past. The Urban Tricycle approach ensure application today and enables innovation tomorrow.

Illustrating filepresentatie eindhoven the urban tricycle project.pdf
Type of ideaservice
Category of ideatechnical; design; work flow
Enabling conditionsAchieving the results as presented requires an integrated approach towards energy, water and waste streams, throughout the different buildings of the Eindhoven municipality and including the city as a whole in a holistic perspective. We believe that the best route to achieve this is to develop a master plan for the resource cycles. This master plan will enable de-central optimization, future innovations and cross-building exchange of resource streams, on the backbone of an infrastructure that is future proof, multi-functional and cost effective. The description of our idea is a high level vision of our underlying concepts, innovations and solutions that we can project into this master plan. Other boundary conditions are the open platform like structure discussed under our role and a highly interactive process.

Stage of development

Proven innovation: it has been used in practice on a small scale.

Substantiation stage of development

Our idea is firstly and foremost a combination of technologies and recent innovations that the partners (Deerns, LeAF and MWH) have implemented in other projects. Therefor we have added some reference projects to show our expertise on the various areas. Secondly, the idea is future proof and specifically developed to allow for future innovations unknown today. Some of these, like electricity generating plants and recycling nutrients from black water into the food chain, are mentioned in our idea, but not an essential key to the idea today. Important for the feasibility is our expertise and experience with developing resource cycles and an underlying infrastructure that allows for a phased approach.

Provability contribution to sustainability

Proven contribution to sustainability; this has been shown in practice.

Step in the right direction

The idea centres around maximizing the achieved sustainability of the municipality of Eindhoven from a holistic perspective; combining energy, water and waste streams. The open platform structure will work as a catalyser further increasing innovations and technological developments, delivering increased sustainability. Lastly, the current partners Deerns, LeAF and MWH have a valuable portfolio of recently applied sustainable solutions and innovations, for energy, water and waste streams, delivering strong sustainability performance to the municipality of Eindhoven.

Flexible idea

Proposed solutions are either based on existing technologies that are projected in a new configuration, with limited risks, or, the solutions are innovative and not readily available and will be tested and developed further before large scale implementation. The approach with the open platform structure supports this process of development, and the future proof infrastructure allows for variations and deviations on the original ideas.

Good investment

The idea is firstly a holistic approach towards energy, water and waste, which requires minimal investment, but enables synergies, hence creating value. Secondly, the idea includes solutions that we have specifically developed to deliver high value and low cost; the solution where we provide excess heat from the offices to residential areas through the innovative multi-use of existing infrastructure is a strong example of this. It does not require additional infrastructure, only minimal investments, but will reduce gas usage by approximately 10%. This is possible only through the holistic approach.

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